How to Plan a Company Picnic in Seattle or Bellevue

Company picnic season is almost here, and as Seattle gets sunnier with each passing day, company retreats, corporate events, and work parties are in the planning stages in conference rooms from Tacoma to Seattle, Kirkland to Issaquah, and everywhere in between.

Need inventive, professional, and fun bar service for a Seattle area or South Sound company picnic?

Of course, we’ve got that covered! But what about the rest? After three summers of corporate receptions under our belt, we’ve seen a wide swath of the event services this area has to offer. We been dazzled by balloon arches, entertained by DIY floral crown stations, watched pony rides wander through parks, and eaten from more than a few bbqs and food truck feasts. We’ve watched as happy employees engaged with one another outside the office, meeting each other’s kids and spouses, or coming together more closely as a team over the kind of bonding that can only occur when you’re well fed,with a great drink in hand, and looking out over a Northwest sunset.

In this post we’re rounding up a few of our favorite work party themes, and trends, alongside the vendors who can help bring these ideas to life.

Planning a fun and inclusive company party for your Washington business:

Our list of laid back to elegant ideas will excite all members of your employees’ families, or all ages and interests of your wide employee base:

Hands on Happy Hour:

Bring in expert teachers to share how to plant succulents, watercolor paint, or dozens of other subjects, with workshops on location from The Works Studio in Seattle, Something to Chalk About’s onsite lettering classes, or buy wholesale farm grown flowers and bring in a florist to lead a DIY farm grown flower bouquet class. Ask us about our “Classic Cocktails 101” or “Garden to Glass Cocktails” classes onsite or hire us to provide the liquid inspiration while you learn from one of Seattle’s talented makers.

Low Country Boil-

Ask your caterer for a family style meal perfect for smaller parties that brings people together over the hands on fun of seasonal eating. With a (literal) mess of corn, potatoes, and fresh Northwest seafood, all tossed over newspaper lined family style picnic tables, guests will dig in for big flavor and quite a few laughs. It’s easy to break the ice with your neighbor when you’re both cracking crab legs and asking to pass the bread. Wash it all down with one of our Bourbon Brambles with locally grown marionberries and mint, or refresh guests with glasses of Washington made Pinot Gris and Rose wines. Don’t forget ambiance- bring in Seattle’s own Cascade Country musician, Aaron Crawford, to set the tone and keep energy high.

Add fun themed drinks for every party! A Marionberry + Mint Bourbon Bramble will quench thirst at the Low Country Boil

Add fun themed drinks for every party! A Marionberry + Mint Bourbon Bramble will quench thirst at the Low Country Boil

White Party-

Be sure to reserve the white Shutter Bus Co photobooth for your white party!

Be sure to reserve the white Shutter Bus Co photobooth for your white party!

Don’t leave the fun to P. Diddy and friends. Take inspiration from his famous parties and decorate an elevated soiree with white shade umbrellas and lounge furniture, encourage an all white dress code, and bring in Ravishing Radish to serve an al fresco meal. Passed appetizers will work the room while none other than our camper bar hosts the summer sips, since she is, of course, always on theme with her clean white exterior. Ask us to bring in additional chic white bars from Happy Hour Barre Rentals to serve guests, and keep the all white camper bar as a special satellite bar with an intriguing theme- maybe its a PNW rose tasting bar, or a gin and tonic bar. Choose drinks like our coconut milk margarita to keep the theme going strong, and bring in a club style DJ service to keep energy high all night long. Oak and Fig floral’s all white floral ceiling installations will transform a dinner tent or built onsite arbor entrance to the big bash.

Out in the Fields-

Working Farm Willie Greens in Monroe is the perfect spot to host your own farm to table, intimate dinner for a company retreat. The field will set the tone, and Chef Cody of farm to table darling, Della Terra will provide a meal with locally grown harvests. String lights overhead and rent farm tables from Seattle Farm Tables adorned with lanterns. Our rustic wooden bars will host carefully paired garden to glass cocktail menu of summer favorites like the Rosemary Ricky and the Seattle Sling and Washington made wines. A take home gift of farm to bar simple syrup from Simple Goodness Sisters for the guests will complete the story and allow your employees to relive the night for many DIY drinks to come.

Beer Garden Table rentals from Wander Event Rentals are available for large groups

Beer Garden Table rentals from Wander Event Rentals are available for large groups

Night at the Movies-

Bring the cinema to the office green space with a portable screen rental, your employees and their families, and our camper bar + snack stations. We’ll bring the cocktails, beer, and wine, as well as Shirley Temples, Roy Rogers, or Italian Soda’s for the younger guests. We’ll also bring in wooden bins bursting with noshable goodies like nostalgic candy mixes, cookies and milk., and “make your own” popcorn mix stations. Wander Event rentals and Vintage Ambiance can provide quirky cool styled lounges to take the party up a notch!

Fauxchella: A Boho Bar Extravagazna

Corporate event season is upon us again! Summer picnics are popping up all over town and already, the holiday event planning has begun in offices all over this Emerald City. I can hear the event design gears turning now: "Flower crowns! Rockaroke! PNW Camp Out! Balloon arches! "Hook!" Lost Boys style food fight on a tarp-covered football field with colored pudding ammunition and large donations given to FoodLifeline to counterbalance the waste karma!" (Ok that last one is just mine, several times proposed to my old boss at Microsoft, and never seized as the genius bucket list style activity it is. I have the logistics all worked out if anyone is interested in hiring me to pick this one up out of the so to speak 'round file.')

As we just approach our last summer 2018 corporate gig next week, and as Seattle corporate event planners finish up their employee picnics, corporate barbeques, and end of the year parties city-wide, I have some inspiration for future you.

Shindig! Events and CRG Events did INCREDIBLE work in summer 2017 for their clients, and we were honored to be a part of the surprise and delight they delivered, via providing bar service for some of Seattle's top companies. Given that each of these events took place approximately one year ago, I thought that it would be fun to take a look back at the good times. 

As a fun and conversation-starting centerpiece for their #wayoutwest (Shindig) and #fauxchella (CRG) events, our camper bar and wooden bars shone, and more importantly, provided craft cocktails of the highest quality to its discerning sippers.

The guests at these events are the same folks who flood our city's craft cocktail bars, farm to table restaurants, and microbreweries, so it only makes sense that they should expect to drink the same quality beverages at their corporate picnics. After all, there is nothing more sad to us than a black tablecloth covered, 6-foot table "bar" pouring liters of generic wine by the glass. We were proud to deliver local beer, wine, and our garden to glass cocktails, mixed with Washington state distillers' spirits and our own farm's edible flower garnishes to these thirsty guests.

Propriety stops me from oversharing the details of these events, but I would like to share with you more about the bar service we put together.

Offerings included Seattle Cider Company's cider, Fremont Brewing's draft brews, and an inventive and on-theme menu of seasonal"garden to glass" cocktails curated specifically for our clients. We poured Heritage Distilling vodka and bourbon by the case in our signature bourbon peach teas, lavender lemonades, watermelon tequila smashes, as well as a dozen gallons of the drink of the summer, our own secret recipe frose- a frozen slushie of wine blended with Washington grown Strawberries. 

One event hosted 500 guests, the other welcomed 1,500 for a summer bash. We staffed up, built new bars, and rolled up our sleeves for fast, efficient, and craft dedicated "garden to glass" bar service for all. 

You can feast your eyes on the pretty party results below, and then give us an email to reserve your bar service for Holiday season 2018 and summer 2019. Trust us, it's not too early!

Way Out West: (photos by Barbie Hull photography)


Fauxchella: (photos by Bow and Arrows Photography)